Marzipan is a European candy made from sugar, egg whites and ground almonds. Its smooth, dough-like texture makes it ideal for topping cakes, molding figurines and shaping candy confections. Homemade marzipan is easy and affordable to make using almond powder, which is simply ground almonds that have either been peeled and blanched or processed with the skin intact. You can buy this at the store, or make it at home.
Almond Powder Basics
Almond powder is simply ground almonds. The finer the powder, the smoother the marzipan. Almond powder can be found in the baking aisle of grocery stores, health food stores or bulk stores. When almond powder is not readily available, consider grinding almonds in a food processor or coffee grinder.
Homemade Almond Powder
Grinding almonds into powder is a simple process. However, be careful not to over-grind the almonds, as over-processing may turn the almond powder into almond butter. Use the pulse setting to avoid over-processing. When making marzipan, consider grinding the almonds and required sugar together in the food processor, to prevent oily lumps from forming. Follow by sifting the ground almonds and sugar with a sieve to remove larger pieces. This creates a finer consistency for the marzipan.
Almond Powder vs. Almond Meal
Almond powder and almond meal both come from whole ground almonds, and may both be used in marzipan. The difference between the two is in the texture. Almond meal can have a course texture, while almond powder is ground finer. Almond meal is ideal for breading, when a coarse coating is preferred. Almond powder may be preferred for baking in cookies, cakes and pastries.
Almond Powder vs. Almond Flour
Almond powder and almond flour are the same product with different names. Both come from ground almonds, however almond flour exclusively uses blanched and peeled almonds. Almond flour and almond powder are both used as gluten-free replacements for grain-milled flours. Both may be used in making marzipan to create a smooth-textured paste.
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